Effect of Freeze, Oven and Microwave Pretreated Oven Drying on Color, Browning Index, Phenolic Compounds and Antioxidant Activity of Hawthorn (Crataegus orientalis) Fruit
Flowers, leaves and fruits of hawthorn plant are traditionally used for treating diseases like hypertension and atherosclerosis. The medicinal effects of the plant are generally attributed to its phenolic compounds. However, the fruits are perishable materials because of their high content of water, and generally dried and stored to be used outside its season. The main aim of this research was to investigate the effect of different drying methods on phenolic compounds of the hawthorn fruit. Fruits were collected from the wild growing trees in Turkey. De-seeded fruits were dried in freeze-, oven- (60 oC) and microwave pretreated oven drying (microwave application for 5 min at 360 W before drying at 60 oC) methods and analyzed for antioxidant activity, phenolic compounds, total phenolic content and color parameters. Total phenolic content of fresh hawthorn fruits was found as 13.36 mg g-1 DW. Oven- and microwave pretreated oven drying methods had a reductive effect on total phenolic content and antioxidant activity of fruits when compared to freeze drying method. (-)-Epicatechin (994.10 mg kg-1 DW), rutin (765.30 mg kg-1 DW), and procyanidin B2 (553.80 mg kg-1 DW) were the main phenolics of the fruit. Lowest values of these three compounds were observed in oven-dried fruits. Microwave pretreatment oven drying method resulted in browner product. Although the highest phenolic concentration and antioxidant activity were occurred in freeze-dried sample, microwave pretreatment before oven drying could be applied to reduce the time and cost of drying in terms of phenolic compounds and antioxidant activity.
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